Ahead of Rafa Benitez’ crucial meeting with Mike Ashley, Alan Shearer has been talking about what needs to happen.
The United legend saying that Ashley clearly agreed to Rafa’s budget demands last summer – but doubts whether these next talks will have a similarly happy outcome.
Alan Shearer says that the club he supports is ‘at a crossroads’ and that yet again, he thinks Mike Ashley might take a wrong turn.
The former Newcastle striker saying ‘What evidence is there’ that Ashley is going to change now?
Shearer says that his worries started when promotion happened against Preston and when asked, Rafa Benitez refused to say he was definitely staying on Tyneside.
He believes that the Newcastle Manager will not allow himself to be made a fool of and let the owner short change him, leading to going into the Premier League with a team.squad that is sure to struggle.
To prevent that happening, Alan Shearer believes that at least eight new players are needed and that Mike Ashley must make at least £150m available this summer.
That figure is crazy but that is football now and by making that investment now, the following seasons may not need early as much if you get the right players in.
When you see clubs like Palace paying out £30m on one player (Benteke), that is the reality of what is needed just to try and compete for mid-table.
Newcastle United recently revealed that Rafa Benitez had generated a £40m transfer profit last summer and with £10m to come for Thauvin and very likely £20m to £30m to be generated from player sales this summer, you are well on the way to covering over half of that £150m figure, before you get to the £100m+ that Newcastle will get via Premier League TV cash.
For once, Mike Ashley has to see the need for allowing big money to be spent up front when the club is on the rise, rather than waiting for near disaster and then allowing the cash to be spent to try and rescue a dire situation – as happened in the 2015/16 relegation season.
Alan Shearer speaking to The Sun:
“Newcastle are at a crossroads and I’m not convinced Mike Ashley will take the right turn.
“What evidence is there that he is going to change now?
“He clearly acceded to some of Rafa Benitez’s demands last summer, which is why he stayed on to get Newcastle back up…but it is a different ball game now.
“As soon as promotion was confirmed and Rafa refused to commit his future to Tyneside, I had to worry.
“Quite simply, he needs about eight new players just to turn Newcastle into a mid-table Premier League team.
“Benitez won’t want to go into next season knowing he has a squad only good enough for a relegation scrap. He won’t have it.
“There is a huge opportunity here for Newcastle to establish themselves again as a top-flight force.
“But he now needs, at the minimum, a £150million investment in new players.
“And I am not convinced that will happen.”